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Jesus Wept (John 11:35)

Jesus Christ never wept for the dead -- only for the living (Luke 9:60; 2 Sam. 12:21-23).

Jesus was greatly moved when He saw people like sheep without a shepherd.  He groaned when He encountered people who were cut off from His Father.  He wept at the torments which would later afflict the women of Jerusalem.

It was not the physical death of Lazarus which grieved Jesus -- it was the distress of Lazarus' friends and relatives.  Jesus was grieved at their alienation from God which robbed them of light and understanding,  hope and joy.

Why do we get so worked up about physical death?  There is a proper and good time to die (Ecc. 3:2, 2 Tim 4:7).  Death itself is no more terrible than the sowing of a seed (1 Cor.42-44).  Sin is what makes death terrible -- “The sting of death is sin” (1 Cor. 15:56).  We are mired in sin and thus ignorant of God, whence our dread and distress.

Physical death is only a secondary corollary of Adam’s transgression.  Death is an object lesson which illustrates in a concrete way the genuinely awful result of sin, which is separation from God.

Worldly people cringe at death, because they can only see what is physical.  Spiritual people should cringe at alienation from God, for that is the real evil of which physical death is only a poor reflection.  But we are daily surrounded by those who are alienated from Him, and we scarcely feel moved.
 “Women of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but for yourselves(Luke 23:28).   Why should we mourn over children who were aborted?  We should mourn over ourselves, because their deaths are the consequence of our sin, our failure to care for others, especially for the poor, the rejected, the addicted.

Prayer: Father, thank You for mourning when we mourn, and rejoicing when we rejoice. Stir up our hearts so that we do the same with others.

e-mail: thornroot@juno.com
Copyright © 2001 CrossPollen
Last Revised: November 23, 2002

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